The Bob Dylan Poems without Titles lot that sold for $249,563 (£211,495) at RR Auctions.

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Though the selling price fell somewhat short of expectations, it reached $669,875 (£567,690) overall including premium and taxes.

Although the recipient’s family estate were the undoubted owners, it was pointed out by the saleroom that Dylan’s publishing company has retained all copyrights to his unpublished writings, poems, and song fragments contained in the letters.

In those early letters the young man born Robert Alan Zimmerman reveals his dreams of changing his name and selling a million records, offers bits and pieces of poetry, and professes his never-ending affection.

He prepares for a local talent show, invites Barbara to a Buddy Holly show, writes about singing, songwriting and recording, as well as the records he is listening to at the time.

Naming rights

Sold at $249,563 (£211,495), a low-estimate sum, was a lot comprising some 24 poems written while Dylan was at the University of Minnesota, by which time he was 18 and already intent on becoming a celebrated singer-songwriter.

To achieve this, he immersed himself in the folk music clubs, record stores, and bookshops of the nearby ‘Dinkytown’ neighbourhood.

Then one night in late 1959 or early 1960, before going on stage to perform folk songs at the ‘10 O’Clock Scholar’, he renamed himself Dylan.

His fascination with his new name is literally on every page of these ‘Poems Without Titles’ and he is clearly enjoying the novelty of it as he writes it, and even refers to a string of zingy aphorisms as “Dylanisms.”

Autograph lyrics for two of Bob Dylan’s more famous songs of the 1960s, A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall and Just Like A Woman, both written out and signed on hotel notepaper in 2013, sold at $43,751 (£37,077) apiece.